Cedar River paddling trip airing on KSMQ
‘Let’s Go Minnesota!’ public TV show features CRWD on 9-mile float
October 20, 2020 — As snow already starts to fall, people can revisit a much warmer time tonight when KSMQ public television features a summer trip down the Cedar River State Water Trail for its “Let’s Go Minnesota!” program.
For the final episode of the program’s second season, “Let’s Go Minnesota!” — a production by the Austin-based KSMQ station — will air at 7 p.m. today (Tuesday) on KSMQ to feature a group paddling trip from June 2019 down about nine river miles of the Cedar River.
Cedar River Watershed District staff — James Fett, Paul Hunter and Tim Ruzek — are featured in the program and helped coordinate the trip with the KSMQ crew and “Let’s Go Minnesota!” host Brenda Piekarski. All worked together to create a trip that highlighted the scenic and historical parts of paddling in the city of Austin and through the wooded corridor going south.
An Austin family — Coulter and Denice Wood with their daughters Ariel and Grace — also joined the trip that started at Austin’s Driesner Park and ended at the river’s Orchard Creek confluence in Lyle Township.
“This was a really fun trip and great experience to work with a professional TV crew like KSMQ on showcasing the Cedar River State Water Trail while paddling in canoes and kayaks,” said Ruzek, CRWD’s outreach coordinator. “Hopefully this episode will inspire others to plan a paddling trip next season on the river.”
This episode also will air on KSMQ at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. It should be available online Wednesday, Oct. 21, on the KSMQ website — www.ksmq.org — under the “Let’s Go Minnesota!” section.
Started in 1972 in Austin, KSMQ is a professional TV outlet under the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) that brings quality public broadcasting to more than 655,000 households across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.
“Let’s Go Minnesota!” features Piekarski as she leads a team of adventurers in each episode down rivers, up cliffs and across prairies. Art also is incorporated into each episode.
For the series’ first season, the Shooting Star State Trail in Mower County was featured as the “Let’s Go Minnesota!” team biked from Rose Creek to LeRoy.
Since 2011, the Cedar River has been designated as Minnesota’s 33rd state water trail following efforts led by the CRWD and local legislators Sen. Dan Sparks and Rep. Jeanne Poppe to get legislative approval for that designation of 25 river miles, which run from the village of Lansing to the Iowa border.
In spring 2012, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources launched a water trail map and other web resources for the new Cedar River State Water Trail that today includes real-time data on river levels for paddlers. DNR also has removes paddling hazards, such as fallen trees, on the river’s state water trail portion throughout the season.
For more on the Cedar River State Water Trail, visit the DNR website at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/watertrails/cedarriver